I’m noticing a lot of blogposts, articles, and other resources focused on the jobhunt, as if the reason why is a great mystery. Yep, the current recession is putting many folks (myself included) into the growing legions of unemployed professionals. I was let go from my own full-time gig last month. This isn’t my first foray into this territory, which in some ways is comforting. If this happens to be your first time out of work or if it’s been a while since your last time, hopefully I can offer some suggestions to help you deal with this experience. These are more related to your emotional well-being since this can quickly become one of the casualties of unemployment. At the end of this post, I’ll toss out some of my favorite links on how to navigate the process of getting your next best gig.
Know and trust your value.
Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean you have little value. There are organizations out there who are looking for you and what you can bring to them. But you’ll never benefit from this connection if you undermine your own value, sell yourself short, or convince yourself that you have little to offer. You have the ability to define your value to a prospective employer.
Focus on good mental and physical health.
Being unemployed can raise all kinds of nasty thoughts and feelings. It’s important to be mindful of these. I won’t suggest that you shouldn’t feel pissed off, sad, or confused. But the absolute worst thing that can happen is to wallow in them for so long, they take up permanent residence. Feel them and then let them go. Sort of what I call “catch and release.” Easier said than done, I know. Which is why taking care of our mental well-being needs to be connected to physical well-being.
When I feel the negative thoughts arriving and getting comfy in my head, that’s my signal that I need to get out for a walk or run or bike ride. I plug into my iPod and get my heart pumping. And I’ve also lost some weight in the process, too.
Get social so you don’t get sucked into the cycle of depression.
If being out of work has reminded me of anything, it’s the importance of having a support network. Friends, family, and even acquaintances have been terrific in offering their support. It’s as true now as it was the last time I was out of work.
But here’s something else I’ve come to believe: you get what you give. My social network has grown wider and deeper, which was happening prior to being unemployed. And with that strong social network, I’ve come to realize that I can help other job seekers. For instance, I’m working with another workseeker, Alora Chistiakoff to put together a Jobhunters United Tweetup here in Austin. The point is that you don’t have to go through this experience alone.
Other helpful resources…
Here’s a set of resources that I’m finding extremely helpful right now.
- Job-hunting? Don’t apply and fill, create and pitch from Rosa Say
- Overwhelmed with possibilities when plotting your career? Try this approach from Pamela Slim
- Is Your Head Spinning From All the Career Advice You’ve Been Reading? and Serendipity and Your Job Search from Heather Mundell
- A Radical Approach to Being Laid Off: When Just Surviving Just Isn’t Good Enough! from Bill Crawford
- Using the Social Web to Find Work ebook from Chris Brogan
- 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn from Linked Intelligence
And don’t be shy to add some of your faves here, too. Just post them in the comments area.